EXPLORING THE USE OF AMRAPs FOR OLYMPIC LIFTERS

INTRODUCTION:

In the dynamic world of Olympic weightlifting, athletes constantly seek methods to push their limits, elevate performance, and achieve new milestones. Enter AMRAPs – an acronym for “As Many Reps As Possible.” While commonly associated with CrossFit, AMRAPs hold immense value for Olympic lifters seeking to optimise their training program. In this article, we delve into the essence of AMRAPs, their benefits, and practical applications for Olympic weightlifters.

WHAT ARE AMRAPs?

AMRAPs entail performing a specific exercise or a series of exercises within a predetermined time frame or performing repetitions until near failure, whilst still aiming to maintain proper form and technique. This structured approach to training promotes intensity, endurance, and mental resilience, making it a valuable tool for athletes across various disciplines. AMRAPs are also a great training style that allows the athlete to hit the required stimulus in a shorter time frame compared to performing a number of sets and reps.

BENEFITS OF AMRAPs:

Efficiency: AMRAPs offer a time-efficient means of training, maximising workload and intensity within a set duration.

Mental Toughness: Pushing yourself to complete as many reps as possible fosters mental resilience, helping you push through fatigue and discomfort.

Progressive Overload: By striving to exceed your previous rep count with each session, AMRAPs facilitate progressive overload, stimulating muscle growth and strength gains.

Conditioning: The high-intensity nature of AMRAPs enhances cardiovascular endurance and muscular stamina, essential for sustained performance during weightlifting competitions.

INTERGRATION OF AMRAPs INTO A WEIGHTLIFTING PROGRAM:

While Olympic weightlifting primarily focuses on explosive, maximal lifts, integrating AMRAPs strategically can augment your training program in several ways:

Warm-Up Activation: Begin your training session with an AMRAP of 3-5 mobility exercises that you will complete each for a number of reps, and perform as many rounds as you can in a time frame.

For example in my warm up, I would complete a 10 minute AMRAP, where I would perform as many rounds of, 10 push up marches, 10 thoracic extension on the foam roller, 10 cat cows, and 10 kang squats. At this point my body will be warm, and I have primed the muscles, improved my mobility and flexibility ready to begin the session.

Accessory Exercises: Incorporate AMRAP sets of accessory exercises such as squat variations, Romanian deadlifts, pull-ups, or overhead presses to target muscle imbalances, strengthen weak areas, enhance overall athleticism, and complete accessory work in a fraction of the time. Depending on the stimulus you are looking to hit, there are different ways I would look to perform AMRAPs with my accessory movements.

If the goal is to build as much muscle as possible, I may perform a strict press for maximal repetitions @ 65-70% of my 1RM (Rep Max), and complete 3-4 sets with a rest period of 60-90 seconds between sets.

If on the other hand, my goal is to build strength, I may perform AMRAP sets of back squats for maximal repetitions similar to hypertrophy, but with 80-85% of my 1RM. I would perform 2-3 sets and keep my rest to a maximum of 2 minutes between sets.

Conditioning Work: Integrate AMRAP circuits consisting of movements like box jumps, Kettlebell Swings, Abdominal work, or weighted carry movements to either improve metabolic conditioning and muscular endurance, complementing the explosive nature of weightlifting, Or expose a lifter to conditioning work when they are returning to training after an injury.

Depending on the nature of using AMRPAS for conditioning work, means the style of the AMRAP circuit may look different.

For example, if you are a lifter starting a new training cycle, and the goal is to build an engine, you may set an AMRAP time of 15-20 minutes, where you would complete 20 calories on the rowing machine, 10 ground to overhead with a weight plate, and a 20-40m sandbag carry. None of which would be maximal loads, but enough to increase heart rate and get a sweat on.

On the other hand, if you were an athlete coming back from a shoulder injury, you may set an AMRAP circuit up consisting of 5 waiters press per arm, 10 scapula pull ups, and a 20 second stability ball plank. You may complete as many rounds of this circuit within a 10-minute window.

CONCLUSION:

AMRAPs serve as a versatile and effective training tool for Olympic weightlifters, offering a pathway to enhanced conditioning, strength, and mental fortitude. By incorporating AMRAPs strategically into your training routine and embracing the challenge of pushing your limits, you can unlock new levels of performance and resilience on your journey to Olympic excellence. So, lace up your lifting shoes, set the timer, and unleash your potential with AMRAPs.

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